"If a painter is not also seeking illumination, he or she is not really paintingI should know. I spent many years not really painting before learning this lesson." - John Monson



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About John Monson

I am a painter primarily inspired by the abstract expressionists. Instead of brushes, I utilize various tools to apply multiple layers of paint to the canvas. I utilize abstraction in order to avoid literal, narrative associations with the intent of freeing the viewer to have a more direct experience of my work and to arrive at more intimate, intuitive and subconsciously derived personal meanings. I prefer to draw the viewer into a clearer understanding of nature, not through illustration, but via direct sympathetic resonance. Colors, forms and textures supersede ideas and words. I would much rather someone be intuitively touched, inspired or stirred by my work than to simply understand it.


Many of my paintings explore the dichotomy of atmospheric fields of color and the incidental imagery generated by the physical texture of paint on canvas. The color fields seem to evoke both external atmospheric landscapes and internal psychological states while the textures offer the suggestion of aging, renewal and implied action. Oblique references to the passing of time, on both a small and an epic scale, is a recurring theme in my paintings. I strongly believe painting is more vital than ever in this age of hyperactive media. When the image is in frantic, quick-cuts motion, the mind tends to be idle. When the image is still, it is the mind that moves and awareness has a chance to grow.


After receiving my BFA in Studio Art from Western Washington University, my early artistic career was spent in the nascent computer graphics field of the 1980's culminating in a long relationship with Microsoft's Digital Imaging Group as an art director and then program manager. During that time I always kept my hand in drawing and painting, both with and without the aid of computers. I returned full time to my first love of creating fine art in 2007.

Studio Visits

I invite art lovers and gallerists to visit my studio in Fall City, WA. Call 425-444-6987 to schedule a time.




2015 "Sudden Introspectives" - Sundance Gallery, Seattle, Washington

2011 "Beyond Silence" - Form/Space Atelier, Seattle, Washington

2010 "The Water Poet" - Form/Space Atelier, Seattle, Washington


2016 "Call of the Clouds", Blakely Hall, Issaquah, Washington

2009 "Annual Group Show", Form/Space Atelier, Seattle Washington

1981 Bellevue Art Fair, Bellevue, Washington

1980 Bellevue Art Fair, Bellevue, Washington

1979 "Monson & Dahlgren" Western Washington University

1979 "Works on Paper", Gonzaga University

1979 "Nine" North Seattle Community College


2014 Winner, Creative Quarterly CQ35 Competition

1992 First Place, Computer Graphics Competition, Canon Inc.

1991 First Place, Computer Graphics Competition, Corel Corp.

1982 First Place, Professional Drawing Division, Puyallup Art Fair, Puyallup, Washington

1981 Second Place, Drawing Division, Bellevue Art Fair, Belleview, Washington

1980 First Place, Drawing Division, Bellevue Art Fair, Bellevue, Washington

1979 Honorable Mention, "Works on Paper", Kenneth Callahan, Juror, Gonzaga University

1979 Professor's Choice Scholarship, Western Washington University


Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington

Edmonds Community College, Edmonds, Washington

Therapeutic Health Services, Seattle, Washington

Numerous private collections including that of Maryanne Tagney-Jones